'as' and 'like'

Do you know how to use like and as? Test what you know with interactive exercises and read the explanation to help you.

Look at these examples to see how as and like are used.

I worked as an actor for two years.
I went home early as I felt ill. 
He looks as if he hasn't slept.
As you know, this is the third time I've had to complain.
He looks like his dad. 
She's like a sister to me.
Try to do something relaxing, like reading a book or having a bath.

Try this exercise to test your grammar.

Grammar test 1

'as' and 'like': Grammar test 1

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation

as and like are often confused since they can both be used for comparisons. There are, however, important differences.

Making comparisons

as + adjective + as and as much as

We often use the structure as + adjective + as or as much as to say if something has, or doesn't have, the same amount of that quality as something else. 

She loves curry as much as I do.
He's not as tall as his brother.
It's not as expensive as the other hotel.
That dog is as big as that child!

You also have to use as in the expression the same as.

Your phone is the same as mine.
Texting is not the same as speaking in person.

like + noun

In the following comparisons, like is followed by a noun or a pronoun to say that two things are similar.

He's like a father to me.
She's acting like a child.
It's like a burger but with big mushrooms instead of bread.
There are lots of people like us.

It is also common to make comparisons using like with verbs of the senses.

She looks like her mother.
It sounds like a cat.
Nothing tastes like homemade lemonade.
It smells like medicine.
It feels like cotton.

as if/as though + clause

As if and as though can be used to compare a real situation to an imaginary situation. They are followed by a clause (a subject and verb).

You look as if you've seen a ghost.
I felt as if I was floating above the ground.
You talk as though we're never going to see each other again.

Giving examples

We can say like or such as to give examples. 

You could try a team sport like football, basketball or hockey.
You should take something soft, such as a towel, to lie on.

 

Talking about a job or function

We can use as + noun to talk about a job or function. 

I worked as a shop assistant for two years.
He used his coat as a blanket to keep warm.

 

as to connect two phrases

as can be used as a conjunction to connect two phrases. It can have different meanings.

as = 'because'

All the tickets were sold out as we got there too late.
As the road was closed, I had to park on the next street.

as = 'while' or 'during the time that'

She called as I was getting out of the bath.
As they were arriving, we were leaving.

as'in the way that'

As we expected, it started to rain.
As you know, classes restart on 15 January.
As I said, I think this project will be a challenge.

** Note that in informal speech, people sometimes say like for 'in the way that'.

Like I said, I didn't know her.

Do this exercise to test your grammar again.

Grammar test 2

'as' and 'like': Grammar test 2

Language level

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Submitted by franciscobo on Tue, 24/03/2020 - 19:38

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very good page to study english and practice it

Submitted by Kaisoo93 on Tue, 24/03/2020 - 07:15

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Hello Teachers, "AI can perform better than human, 1) it is not emotional as human do" 2) it is not emotional like human" 3) it is not emotional as human be" which one(s) is correct? Thanks

Hello Kaisoo93

It's strange to use 'as' here, since really AI is not emotional at all; if you use 'as', it implies that AI can experience emotions at least a little bit. The second sentence could be correct, but please note you'd need to change 'human' to 'humans'.

What I'd recommend is something like 'AI performs better than humans because it is not emotional like humans are' or 'AI performs better than humans because it is not impeded by emotions'.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by lidyakim on Fri, 20/03/2020 - 03:42

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Hello, good morning sir This time i practice my grammar skill by doing the grammar test, but there are two questions that is confusing me, these are the questions: 1...... we were late, we had to get an expensive taxi (as/like) My answer: I choose as, but it's wrong, why was wrong? 2. I like listening to music .... I do the ironing (as/like) My answer: I choose as, but it's wrong Could you give me some explanations to both of them? I just want to make it clear, if it was because of technology error or i got them wrong (missunderstanding)

Hello lidyakim,

Both questions are answered with as. However, the first question needs to have a capital lettter so you need to choose As rather than as.

I'm not sure why the second question was marked incorrect when you chose as. I tested the task myself and it accepted the answer as correct. Please try again to see if you still have a problem.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by lidyakim on Thu, 19/03/2020 - 04:28

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Good morning, sir!. First of all, i want to say i'm so grateful to know about this website. It helps a lot like the lessons of each level of english, the english test that you've given to us as a learner and etc. And now, after i study about how to use "as and like properly", what do you think abou this sentence: My face is as beautiful as russian girls. Should i use "are" at the behind of "russian girls" or not. And i compare my face with russian girls (which means plural) to my face (which means singular), is it correct to both of them? Or the sentence should be this one: My face is as beautiful as russian girl (?) I apologize if my english is a bit confusing. hope you get what i mean.

Hello lidyakim

Your sentence is grammatically correct, but I would recommend changing it to the singular. In other words, instead of 'Russian girls', I'd say 'a Russian girl'. And really, if you want to compare your face to the face of a Russian girl, it'd be better to say 'a Russian girl's' (which means 'a Russian girl's face').

The same would be true with other objects. For example, if you want to compare your face to a rose, it'd be better to say 'as beautiful as a rose' instead of 'as beautiful as roses'.

Does that make sense?

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

As an example, let's say you wanted to make a comparison to a flower, for example, a rose. It would be more natural to say 'as beautiful as a rose', or, if you wanted to speak about a lot of roses, 'as beautiful as a bunch of roses'

Submitted by Akashtigile on Wed, 11/03/2020 - 19:37

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You haven't explained conjunction or relative pronoun such as "such........as", "such... that", "so.......as", and "so......that". Please explain all these.

Hello Akashtigile,

The pages have to be somewhat limited in scope as otherwise they would become extremely long and their usefulness would be compromised.

 

We're happy to try to help out with particular examples. However, some of the phrases you mention could refer to a range of structures, however. For example, such...as can be used to introduce an example (I want to get a friendly dog, such as a golden retriever or a labrador) or to introduce a particular type of comparison (It was not such a difficult conversation as I had imagined).

 

If you have any questions about the phrases you mentioned then please provide an example sentence and we'll be happy to comment on it. That way we can be sure that we are addressing the issue you have and not some other use.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by sihamkaddouri on Mon, 09/03/2020 - 09:19

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Hi, I can't make différence between us if and us though, should you help me please? Thanks